How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Outhipped is a splendid follow-up to Barbara Dennerlein’s first two releases for Verve Take Off! (1995) and Junkanoo (1997). Again, she takes full advantage of the rich, deep tones of the Hammond B3 to produce a heady mix of funky, soulful jazz. Mitch Watkins (guitar) and Don Alias (percussion), holdovers from the earlier CDs, are joined by a stellar lineup that includes jazz heavyweights Ray Anderson (trombone/tuba), Antonio Hart (alto/soprano) and Jeff "Tain" Watts (drums). This formidable aggregation surges through a high-octane program of 11 Dennerlein originals and a funky cover of the Stones’ classic, Satisfaction. Dennerlein’s adventurous writing style is on full display on Mabuse, an ominous sounding suite in five movements. Mabuse features a number of complex time shifts and aggressive solo spots by Hart, Anderson, Watkins and Dennerlein. For a change of pace, Dennerlein and Craig Handy (tenor) explore a deep, straight-ahead blues groove on the mournful Farewell To Old Friends. Watkins and Dennerlein wrap-up Outhipped with some casual, good-natured dueling on Jammin’. Punchy! (####)